Oakhurst Foodland/IGA deserves recognition
I just found out the Oakhurst IGA (formerly Oakhurst Foodland) has been sold and will be closing by the end of this month. I couldn't believe it.
This is a landmark in the Davis Creek area. As a child I spent every Saturday at the store with my grandparents getting groceries. When I became a little older I waited in the car. Of course, in those days it wasn't a danger. I loved to wait in the car. I knew I would see people I recognized. It was the place to run into folks. I would sit in the truck and read. After all, it seemed they would be in the store for hours. Some of my teachers from Ruthlawn Elementary would pass by and say hello, or I would see my baseball coaches Don and Kathy Bennett.
There was a little house at the end of the parking lot that sat down over a little embankment. The trees from that house made the only shade in the lot. I always hoped we would park there. Sometimes I would get to wave at the nice lady who lived there.
Now, all of this may not seem very important by today's standards, but it is. So much has changed since those days. You surely cannot leave your children even for a moment in a grocery store for fear someone will abduct them. If you were to leave a child in a car in a parking lot, you should try on your orange jumpsuit for you would surely be arrested. Teachers, well I like to say that I had the best teachers in the world and the best coaches. They went out of their way for all of us. Teachers now I think want to do the same. I think they just have to be overly cautious because of those who have violated children and ruined it for the dedicated teachers and coaches.
This is where the IGA comes in. The name changed a few years ago from Foodland. Throughout the years we have seen the competition come in and build bigger better stores with automated checkouts. Some stores are open 24 hours. Some stores even change your oil and fill your medications while you get your groceries. Big deal. If I want groceries, I go to a "grocery" store. Oh but the bigger, better stores have better service! Do they?
Through the years I have seen the same people working at the Foodland/IGA. I may not know all of their names, but I know the faces. They know me. Most of them have watched me grow up. They knew my grandparents, who refused to shop anywhere else. When my grandfather passed away, they sent a meat tray to my house. Do you think the "mega store" does that? I don't think so.
I just couldn't sit by quietly and not give some kind of thank you or recognition to the wonderful people of the Oakhurst Foodland/IGA, whether you are a current employee or you worked there sometime since the doors first opened. You have made such a difference in the lives of your customers. We have seen you as extended members of our families. You don't know how much it meant to us when we would come through your register and you would say, "How is your dad?" Or ask about anyone in our family just as we would ask about yours. I think I can speak for many of your patrons both present and previous when I say we love you and we will miss you all.